Author Topic: Case Study: Young & Need Advice  (Read 4201 times)

farmGirl14

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Case Study: Young & Need Advice
« on: June 15, 2016, 10:32:56 AM »
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« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 01:11:17 PM by farmGirl14 »

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Case Study: Young & Need Advice
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2016, 11:54:11 AM »
Is there any way you can turn your CS degree into a "real" job? Consistent money always helps.

I am not a fan of spending $80 on lunches a month when you're already spending $350 at the grocery store every month while you have a 7% line of credit.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Case Study: Young & Need Advice
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2016, 12:00:49 PM »
1. Track your Spending category, and see where that money is going.

2. You listed propane and electricity. Is the propane for cooking and heating? If yes, the electricity is high. Even if no, the electricity seems high. I suggest locking in on why with a laser beam focus. Is the farm house poorly insulated? Do you have watt suckers? Does your provider have stepped rates, and you're using during the highest rate?

3. Phone is okay-ish, but could be lower. Look into Ting, etc, on the Superthread.

4. Your combined income is low. If you're filled with an unholy passion to retire early, work on increasing income, while holding spending steady. If you're more relaxed, then this level of earnings might be just right. Only you can make the call.

5. Your mortgage is awesome, and I have vague feelings of envy.

6. You should include your tax information. People can help you ensure you're maxing the allowed deductions, etc.

7. Consider opening a Roth IRA, since you aren't currently covered by a work-based retirement plan.

boarder42

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Re: Case Study: Young & Need Advice
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2016, 12:29:29 PM »
Is there any way you can turn your CS degree into a "real" job? Consistent money always helps.

I am not a fan of spending $80 on lunches a month when you're already spending $350 at the grocery store every month while you have a 7% line of credit.

I am working on turning it into a "real" job. It's a new company, so we are currently building a client base. It's going really well.

You caught me. Lunches are my major splurge. I eat out 3 times a week while at the office job. I hate leftovers with a passion, and don't have enough time or dedication to make and bring lunches with me. Plus I won't lie. I quite enjoy fast food. This is a long standing battle with my husband who is very healthy and rarely/never eats fast food. I don't really have a good reason, I'm just being stubborn.

i think you should find a new passion in your life as this is a very detrimental passion.

onlykelsey

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Re: Case Study: Young & Need Advice
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2016, 12:54:14 PM »
I think everyone has hit on the big points.  A few off-the-beaten path thoughts:

1. You may have several years left on your parents' insurance.  Even if you're okay with them covering it for you until then, I would look in to what the costs will be in a few years (more than they are now, I imagine) and start figuring out how you would work that in to your budget.  I'm young and healthy and I think my premiums are 11K a year, which is wild.  I might be able to find cheaper coverage, but I wouldn't bet on it being that cheap in 3 or 4 years.  Then, if you plan on kids, throw in a couple of those on your plan (and calculate for pregnancy and delivery) and see what your expected costs are. http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/health-insurance-premiums.aspx It looks like average premiums are just under 18K in 2015 for an American family.  Your income may be low enough that you qualify for some breaks, of course.

2. I think the experiment in 1 above will probably cause you to take a look at ways to earn more money.  I think you're doing great for 22,  but right now it sounds like your job is low paying, inconsistent and offers no benefits.  Start chipping away hard at a couple of those problems (or searching for a new job, obviously).

3.  Because you have a pretty high interest rate debt (or two) outstanding, run the numbers on how much something "really" costs.  Like, you may think your fast food costs $10 a day, but when you divert $8 to your debt and pack your lunch, and add those $100 monthly to your debt, you can see the "true" cost of all other costs.  7% isn't egregious, but I bet your "true" cost is something close to 1.5x what the sticker price is.  Food for thought.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Case Study: Young & Need Advice
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2016, 12:56:55 PM »
Is there any way you can turn your CS degree into a "real" job? Consistent money always helps.

I am not a fan of spending $80 on lunches a month when you're already spending $350 at the grocery store every month while you have a 7% line of credit.

I am working on turning it into a "real" job. It's a new company, so we are currently building a client base. It's going really well.

You caught me. Lunches are my major splurge. I eat out 3 times a week while at the office job. I hate leftovers with a passion, and don't have enough time or dedication to make and bring lunches with me. Plus I won't lie. I quite enjoy fast food. This is a long standing battle with my husband who is very healthy and rarely/never eats fast food. I don't really have a good reason, I'm just being stubborn.

i think you should find a new passion in your life as this is a very detrimental passion.

I agree. :/ Any tips for easy to prepare lunches? I'm not a big salad or sandwich eater. Which is what my husband takes to work every day.

What do you eat for lunch, then?

boarder42

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Re: Case Study: Young & Need Advice
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2016, 01:01:42 PM »
chili its basically the same new as leftover. 

any other soups or stews work

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Case Study: Young & Need Advice
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2016, 01:15:31 PM »
It sounds like your husband is on board with you bringing your lunch, so hopefully it wouldn't be hard to organize dinners that you would find appealing reheated, the very next day, so you don't worry about them having sat too long.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Case Study: Young & Need Advice
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2016, 01:26:24 PM »
Is there any way you can turn your CS degree into a "real" job? Consistent money always helps.

I am not a fan of spending $80 on lunches a month when you're already spending $350 at the grocery store every month while you have a 7% line of credit.

I am working on turning it into a "real" job. It's a new company, so we are currently building a client base. It's going really well.

You caught me. Lunches are my major splurge. I eat out 3 times a week while at the office job. I hate leftovers with a passion, and don't have enough time or dedication to make and bring lunches with me. Plus I won't lie. I quite enjoy fast food. This is a long standing battle with my husband who is very healthy and rarely/never eats fast food. I don't really have a good reason, I'm just being stubborn.

i think you should find a new passion in your life as this is a very detrimental passion.

I agree. :/ Any tips for easy to prepare lunches? I'm not a big salad or sandwich eater. Which is what my husband takes to work every day.

Learn to make your favourtiest junk food. Then be excited to eat it for lunch. Continue until you're okay eating from tupperware. What floats your boat - pizza, chicken wings, high class dressing?

Sorry about the Roth IRA suggestion. I obviously missed your listing the first time around.

MsPeacock

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Re: Case Study: Young & Need Advice
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2016, 01:37:51 PM »
Even if you don't like leftovers, you can pack a lunch that is quick, easy, cheaper than eating out, and healthier. A quick go-to for me is a can of Progresso soup (purchased on sale, of course!) and some cheese to throw on it with crackers, or ramen and a big handful of veggies (or leftover chicken or hamburger). Even a frozen dinner is cheaper than fast food and certainly easy to pack. I tend to want warm food at lunch - so I am not big on the sandwich/apple/yogurt standard packed lunch combination.

notactiveanymore

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Re: Case Study: Young & Need Advice
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2016, 01:48:58 PM »
I do bagels with cream cheese for lunch regularly. Crackers and peanut butter or crackers and cheese are also easy and quick. I pair those with fruit, yogurt, or carrot sticks. I also buy some lean cuisines when they go on sale for $1.88 as a back up, "ran out of time and have to leave for work asap" meal.

You guys have low expenses, but once you have to start covering health insurance and maybe have a family, it's going to be a lot harder to get by on what you're currently making while also saving for retirement. With two older vehicles, only 1k in emergency fund, and just an extra $600 monthly, you could really find yourself up a creek.

I think your biggest thing here is to plan for the career you want in 5 or 10 years. You guys seem to be pretty rural, so it may be that your options are limited, but I'm sure there are still options out there. Maybe you could move towards replacing your current $10/hour job with contracting locally and eventually do that full time? I don't know what your exact education is, but now is the time to start dreaming about where you go in your career.

Tay_CPA

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Re: Case Study: Young & Need Advice
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2016, 02:17:13 PM »
I agree. :/ Any tips for easy to prepare lunches? I'm not a big salad or sandwich eater. Which is what my husband takes to work every day.

I know you don't like leftovers (I didn't for a long time either) but the easiest to prepare lunches really are the ones you pack up right after eating dinner the night before. Steak, rice, refried beans, yams, roasted potatoes, veggies, etc. all make for a super delicious dinner, and then a delicious lunch the next day. Sitting at my desk eating a full plate of steak and veggies (and possibly another side) makes me so happy. And tastes almost as good as the night before. Lunches don't only have to be made of "lunch food." Today, for example, I had a breakfast burrito for lunch (tortilla, chorizo & scrambled eggs, refried beans, sour cream, salsa).

Some other non-salad, non-sandwich lunch ideas that can be prepped the night before/assembled at work during lunchtime:

Lettuce wraps
Turkey or beef burger sliders (I make small patties out of ground turkey, then wrap in collard greens or green leaf lettuce, with choice of condiments and/or cheese)
Burritos (so many options for fillings here!)
Homemade pizza (for example, Trader Joe's has dough for about $1.19, then you just need sauce, cheese, veggies, pepperoni or salami, etc. to put on top. You and your husband could each make your personal pizza to your liking, and have meals for a couple days; pita bread also works for making smaller, personal-sized pizzas)
Thai curry and rice (Thai leftovers are always good and curry is fun to make at home!)
Stews, soups, and chilis like others have mentioned
Pasta and veggies

Extra tip: For a treat (as this costs more) and to make regular rice more exciting, replace most of the water used in cooking the rice with a can of coconut milk. Really tasty!

Hope that helps! Good luck! :)
« Last Edit: June 15, 2016, 02:20:59 PM by Tay_CPA »

boarder42

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Re: Case Study: Young & Need Advice
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2016, 05:39:00 AM »
if you're paying 1.19 for dough you may as well be buying frozen pizza's when they are on sale noway its cheaper to make it when the dough costs that much.  to make pizza cost effective to be homemade you have to make everything from scratch.

also steak IMO is one of the worst reheated meats out there.(and is a really ineffective value per protein compared to pork and chicken prices)

anything ground reheats well, chicken if cooked right reheats well, fattier meats reheat well - see anything typically smoked - pork butts/chicken quarters 

Tay_CPA

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Re: Case Study: Young & Need Advice
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2016, 01:34:27 PM »
if you're paying 1.19 for dough you may as well be buying frozen pizza's when they are on sale noway its cheaper to make it when the dough costs that much.  to make pizza cost effective to be homemade you have to make everything from scratch.

also steak IMO is one of the worst reheated meats out there.(and is a really ineffective value per protein compared to pork and chicken prices)

anything ground reheats well, chicken if cooked right reheats well, fattier meats reheat well - see anything typically smoked - pork butts/chicken quarters

I wasn't making the claim that my suggestions are the cheapest lunch options out there. OP asked for tips on easy to prepare lunches and isn't a big salad or sandwich eater. I provided some ideas. Just because this is a financial independence blog doesn't mean you have to criticize everything someone suggests as not being the cheapest option or the most protein for your money :)